Pope gives green light to extend Beijing accord

Vatican City, Sept. 15, 2020: Pope Francis has signed off on a two-year extension of a deal with China on the appointment of bishops that critics have condemned as a sell-out to the communist government, a senior Vatican source has said.

The two-year provisional deal, which gives the pope the final say on the appointment of bishops, took effect on Oct. 22, 2018 and, if the Chinese side agrees – seen as virtually a given – will be extended without any changes, the source said on September 14.

“We think it is prudent to extend it for another two years,” the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Some Catholics in Asia had feared China would pressure the Vatican to include Hong Kong, following the imposition of a new national security law that significantly expanded Beijing’s reach into the city, but the source said it would not.

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